Commissioner Burman takes action to improve Central Valley Project hydropower

New directives support one of the Central Valley Project’s key resources

Media Contact: Theresa Eisenman, 202-513-0574, teisenman@usbr.gov

For Release: June 25, 2019

Keswick Dam is located nine miles downstream from Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River. It is one of the 11 powerplants of the Central Valley Project.
Keswick Dam is located nine miles downstream from Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River. It is one of the 11 powerplants of the Central Valley Project.
WASHINGTON — Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman established new policy to improve the long-term viability of Central Valley Project hydropower. The policy direction – focused on cost stability, lost production opportunities, improving the value of the resources and customer service – is a result of a customer initiative started last year.

“CVP hydropower provides value to California with emissions free, cost-competitive electricity that allows savings to be passed onto retail customers in local communities,” said Reclamation Commissioner Burman. “Today we are signaling our commitment to improving the value of hydropower.”

In October 2018, Reclamation kicked off its CVP Power Initiative to provide power customers with certainty for future costs, while looking for new opportunities to generate power when it is most-valuable to customers. Like many Reclamation projects, the CVP relies on hydropower energy to move water supplies. Surplus energy sales fund project construction and operating costs, including tens of millions of dollars per year for habitat restoration activities.

“We have a long history of providing power to California’s not-for-profit, community-owned power utilities. We want to ensure that our hydropower continues to be a cost-competitive, value-adding resource into the future,” said Reclamation’s Mid Pacific Region Director Ernest Conant.

Reclamation has been delivering reliable, low-cost hydropower throughout the West for more than a century. Today, Reclamation owns 76 hydropower facilities that generate electricity to power farms and communities throughout the West. Reclamation continues its long history of managing the West’s water and power supplies in an environmentally and economically sound manner. As energy markets continue to evolve, it will be critical for Reclamation to work with customers and stakeholders to define the role of hydropower for the next century.

A copy of Commissioner Burman’s memorandum can be found at: https://www.usbr.gov/mp/docs/hydro-memo.pdf

For more information on Reclamation’s hydropower program: https://www.usbr.gov/power/

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.